Very few companies start out with the concept of being small, but they often overlook the importance of taking care of their own local area to enhance their online search engine listing strength. Optimizing your web site to the local search engine listings is a critical aspect to increasing your business.
The Internet, by definition, is global. But, sometimes too much information can be overwhelming. More people in today’s Internet searchers are searching local than ever before. Local listing strength can drive customers faster than any other online marketing technique. A top local ranking can help put you at the very top of the search results.
Local optimization isn’t difficult. But it does require a very sustained effort including around three different factors that are important to keep in mind as follows:
- Listings on the local search engines and the directory sites they reference
- Reviews and bookmarks on those same sites
- Local data on your website
Ensure your local search engine listing strength with some of the following important local search directories with the following steps:
- Search for your business on Google Places, Yahoo, and Bing
- Make sure you fill out all fields requested by the search engine, including the description and hours
- All of the major search engines crawl these sites to determine relevance and location. There are many sites to submit to in this manner, and be sure to submit your website to any business listings sites you can find, but make sure to include the following:
- Make sure that your business is assigned to the correct category in the local listings.
Get reviews and bookmarks from sites. Asking friends, clients, and former clients can help you more than a little. Ask them to review your business. Search engines look at the quantity of reviews and bookmarks as one indicator of relevance. Send a nice note to them or provide a coupon or other incentive to get them to review your business on these business listing sites. The more reviews the better.
Optimize your web site for local search listing friendliness. Ensure you are doing the following on your web site:
- Ensure your physical address is on every page
- Put your metro area location in a few title tags
- Have a good Contact page with directions to your physical address
- Get links from other local sites such as the local Chamber of Commerce among others
Good local listing strength is good common sense. Don’t forget your local area when looking to move up in the search engine listings. Search Engine Optimization cannot underestimate the importance of enhancing the local area.
Focus on optimizing your local search engine listing and you will see immediate results.